KZN is awaiting verdict on 14th cheque

2014-02-26 00:00

UNLIKE their counterparts in the Eastern Cape, municipal workers in KwaZulu-Natal have adopted a wait-and-see attitude with regards to going on strike over payment of a once-off 14th cheque as they await a Labour Court judgment on the matter.

Last week, municipal workers in East London went on a wildcat strike demanding the payment.

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) cautioned seven Eastern Cape municipalities that were in the process of paying out the 14th cheque due to pressure from labour unions.

South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) provincial secretary Jaycee Ncanana said that no decision had been made on the payment of a 14th cheque, and that it was just a proposal.

Explaining the issue, Ncanana said the dispute emanated from the National Local Government Bargaining Council and dated back to 2006 when municipal workers received salaries based on incorrect salary scales. It became known as the wage curve dispute and was linked to the union’s unhappiness over the issue of job evaluations at municipal level.

A proposal was put on the table by one of the facilitators for a once-off 14th cheque payment to be made to rectify the mistake. It was not taken up because by that stage the dispute was taken to the Labour Court.

Ncanana said Samwu in KZN was now awaiting the judgment on the matter.

The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) also issued a press statement clari­fying the confusion.

Imatu urged its members to be patient and told them the once-off 14th cheque payment was a proposal that had not been agreed to by all parties and therefore it was not binding. The union asked its members to allow the law to take its course.

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